Drink driving farmer chased by police in his Land Rover

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A farmer was chased by police for three miles after taking to his Land Rover and trailer and driving while close to three times the drink driving limit.

Malcolm Symington, 35, of Brindister, Gulberwick, veered from side to side and crossed the central line of the A970 at the Black Gaet yesterday morning.

He failed to stop despite police using their sirens and lights in an attempt to bring him to a halt.

Appearing from custody at Lerwick Sheriff Court today Symington admitted driving dangerously with 99 microgrammes of alcohol in his breath, exceeding the legal limit of 35 microgrammes.

Symington, who only recently got his licence back, faces losing his Land Rover as well. Sheriff Philip Mann ordered it to be seized, and he may yet grant a motion by the Crown to forfeit the vehicle.

Procurator fiscal Duncan MacKenzie said police had been alerted by a member of the public who was concerned about Symington’s driving.

It didn’t take them long to find him, but there followed an “extended piece of driving” where Symington failed to comply with instructions for him to pull over.

“Police used all the means at their disposal to bring the vehicle to a stop, putting themselves alongside him and shouting at him to stop,” said Mr MacKenzie, who added Symington had mumbled that he was lambing.

He moved that the vehicle be forfeited.

However defence agent Tommy Allan said losing the Land Rover would have a severe impact on Symington’s farming concerns, which stretch from Fladdabister to North Nesting. The farm is busy at the moment with the lambing season.  

Sheriff Mann said deferred sentence until 30th May for background reports to be compiled. He banned Symington from driving in the interim.

The sheriff also deferred consideration on the motion to forfeit the Land Rover, but ordered it be seized in the meantime.

“I realise this may cause some difficulty for you, but – as I’ve said before – it was you who threw the pebble in the pool, so you have got to accept the consequences of where the ripples end up.”

Symington was released on bail.

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